Movement Climbing just wrapped up the acquisition of a coveted warehouse in the trendy RiNo Arts District neighborhood of Denver this week. The Colorado-based climbing gym plans to turn a 50,000 square foot single story building into their first bouldering-only facility.
The warehouse was first sought after by Brooklyn Boulders which planned to turn the building into a full-service rope and bouldering gym by popping the roof for fifty feet of clearance. BKB had hoped this would be the home gym of their new company headquarters in Denver, but a deal on the warehouse fell through earlier this year (BKB has already moved their corporate headquarters to Denver).
Movement owner Anne-Worley Moelter told the BusinessDen that RiNo has been on Movement’s radar for more than two years, even before the company opened its first Denver location. “Any sort of real estate to lease or buy has been hard to come by, but we’ve been actively looking around there,” Moelter said. The RiNo warehouse is a twenty-minute drive from their current Denver location.
Despite the recent popularity of climbing gym operators moving into the Denver market, Moelter believes that Denver is still a good place to expand. “We looked at several other markets in the country with similar demographics, and they have anywhere from three to eight gyms in the same-size metro area,” Moelter said. “We feel confident based on those studies, our industry experience and a slightly different product.”
First National Bank is financing the land deal. Movement paid $10.5 million for the 1.7 acre lot, which includes the warehouse, a parking lot across the street and a small piece of undeveloped land.
According to the BusinessDen, the bouldering gym will only take up about 38,000 square feet, so Movement Climbing is looking for a few more tenants to lease the remaining 12,000 square feet.